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Issues to Actions

To develop the City’s comprehensive plan, a series of citywide public meetings and charrettes were held which identified action items that should be implemented through the comprehensive plan.  These actions were collected after initial public meetings were conducted.  During these initial public meetings, an introduction to the comprehensive planning process was illuminated, followed by facilitated group discussions on topics related to the physical development of the city and public comments were gathered.  The second round of public meetings required public participants to prioritize the proposed actions/feedback gathered as result of the initial public meetings.  During the comprehensive plan public meetings, participants were asked …

What issues are of particular concern to you as the City plans for the future?

For each issue, consider the following:

What’s good now?
What do you like?
What should be maintained?

What’s not working?
What do you dislike?
What needs to be changed?

What opportunities are there?
What new things can we do to make it better?
What do you hope to see in Mount Vernon’s future?

As a result of analyzing these meeting comments, suggested city actions to be included in the Comprehensive Plan are the following:

Housing

  • Create and enforce design guidelines (height limits, design buildings at a human scale, building materials)
  • Explore historic preservation ordinances and policies (maintaining building quality and character)
  • Explore mixed income housing and minimum requirements for affordable units in new construction
  • Better use of Code Enforcement (demolish burnt out housing, impose tax liens, illegal improvements made on weekends and after City  business hours)
  • Identify illegal rooming houses (illegally converted housing)
  • Create moderate income housing
  • Explore character preservation policies
  • New housing should incorporate “green” standards and designs
  • Impose minimum construction standards to improve quality of housing stock
  • Evaluate new housing before it is built for effects on transportation, aesthetics and schools
  • Modify zoning regulations to allow mixed-use commercial residential development as of right

Transportation/Transit Services/Parking

  • Take advantage of Transit Oriented Development opportunities throughout the City
  • Create greater amenities at train stations, mixed use development
  • Implement streetscape improvements to enhance safety for pedestrians and people with disabilities
  • Implement place making/gateway improvements
  • Create an In-Town shuttle to provide a link between Mt. Vernon West and Mt. Vernon East train stations and from train stations to 241st Street subway station
  • Encourage multi-modal transportation of freight using rail and barge over trucks
  • Consider creating commercial loading zones and times to reduce congestion at peak hours
  • Enhance infrastructure at bus stops to encourage use of mass transit
  • Examine pedestrian and vehicular safety (cross-walks, pedestrian audible signals, sidewalks, school children safety)
  • Examine timing of traffic signals
  • Restrict truck movements (trucks using local streets)/develop truck routes
  • Analyze current parking capacities and consider developing new parking lots near commercial areas
  • Implement bike lanes
  • Create bike storage facilities at train stations, schools and city facilities to encourage bike usage

Open Space and Recreation

  • Update City’s inventory of historic resources utilizing NYS OPRHP protocols
  • Consider allowing individual gardening plots along ROW; have designated planting spots and locations at City parks
  • Establish a green streets program like NYC
  • Establish standards for consistent way finding and identification at city parks
  • Develop Inventory of all resources within City parks
  • Work with the school district to encourage greater use of school facilities after school hours and during the summer
  • Establish an adopt-a-park program for fund-raising and to solicit community involvement in maintenance
  • Develop cyclical maintenance standards for parks facilities. Capital projects planning
  • Identify locations for public art; provide incentives for inclusion of public art in new developments; percentage for public  arts requirement for city facilities and new developments
  • Develop trailway plan to provide connections to trail networks outside the City borders; identify trail/bikeway trailway networks  North/South and East/West within the City

Neighborhood Character Preservation

  • Institute contextual zoning to retain existing character
  • Institute tree preservation ordinance
  • Explore local historic preservation ordinance
  • Mandate a registration of maintenance for foreclosed properties
  • Better use of Code Enforcement
  • Widen the sidewalks to encourage greater pedestrian use
  • Identify locations for neighborhood beautification initiatives
  • Improve the current system for reporting maintenance issues
  • Encourage participation of neighborhood associations and other civic groups located within the City
  • Create a Conservation Advisory Committee to encourage preservation of open space
  • The City’s capital improvement plan should include upgrade of existing streetscape infrastructure such as trees, lights and benches
  • Establish design guidelines to preserve current aesthetics and to ensure that new development fits in with the existing character
  • Educate the land use boards on the impacts and effects of their decisions

Sustainable Community/Energy Use

  • Establish standards/incentives for the creation of green roofs on city-owned buildings, new and existing structures where appropriate; inventory buildings with potential for green roof adaptation
  • Establish new policies and ordinances that focus on creating/preserving sustainable infrastructure for Mount Vernon
  • Institute “green” technology and sustainable practices into the City’s capital improvement plan
  • Identify locations in Mount Vernon to consider for creating green (G) zones that will provide incentives for green manufacturers to operate
  • Combine smart growth and conservation with industrial development by taking advantage of the City’s excellent location,  strong and available local work force and an excellent transportation network
  • Encourage the use of recycled/reclaimed materials in construction
  • Provide incentives for workers throughout the City to use mass transit
  • Educate students in Mount Vernon schools about using “green” practices
  • Inventory City’s existing infrastructure to determine where “green” technology can be instituted
  • Encourage redevelopment of existing sites recycling existing infrastructures and reducing consumption of newer materials
  • Implement recycling and conservation methods
  • Update the City’s Building Code and zoning ordinance to allow for more “green” technology
  • Establish incentives and policies for implementation of new vehicle technologies in City fleet

Commercial/Industrial/Economic Development

  • Determine commercial niches that exist within the City
  • Create business attraction & retention incentives
  • Explore the creation of City Office of Small Business Services
  • Create greater entertainment and commercial offerings within the City
  • Establish a partnership between local businesses & the school system for training programs; City create job training program
  • Create Business Improvement Districts
  • Streetscape Improvements in business areas
  • Enforce Site Plan regulations
  • Establish design guidelines for commercial storefronts
  • Enable Mixed Use Commercial/Residential Buildings As of Right
  • Create Special Development District for Transit Oriented Development implementation purposes
  • Create business incentives to attract green businesses
  • Promote the City through a business marketing campaign
  • Evaluate parking requirements to remove burden on developers to provide parking on development sites
  • Encourage a diverse mix of retail establishments within walking distance of neighborhoods

Quick Link to Comprehensive Plan

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